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NOW CLOSED Share your top internet safety tips with TalkTalk and win a £250 Love2Shop voucher

(99 Posts)
TheOtherHelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 05-Feb-13 10:37:29

To mark the 10th Safer Internet Day, which happened on Tues this week, TalkTalk want to hear your top tips for making sure you and your family use the internet safely.

Here is what TalkTalk say: "The internet is at the heart of our homes and is ultimately a great thing, but it does throw up a whole range of different challenges for parents. We want to help our customers keep their families safer online so we developed HomeSafe, the UK's only parental control service that's built into the broadband network itself and protects every device using the home internet. We want to encourage families to make every day a Safer Internet Day, by sharing their top internet safety advice with each other. If you're stuck for ideas then why not check out the recent internet safety expert Q&A we ran for Mumsnetters on the TalkTalk Better Off Hub."

What TalkTalk would love to know is:

~ How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?

Everyone who posts their comments here will be entered into a prize draw to win a £250 Love2Shop voucher.

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw
MNHQ

CMOTDibbler Tue 05-Feb-13 11:10:17

ATM, ds is 6, so his only internet access is on the family PC, to defined websites, and only under adult supervision. He knows he isn't allowed to chat to anyone in the games, and we talk about how people might pretend to be other people, or say nasty things and he needs to tell an adult straightaway if they do.

When the time comes that he has less supervised access, he will have very tightly set parental controls on his device. The hardest thing to manage seems to be YouTube as its very easy to get to yucky things without searching

Trills Tue 05-Feb-13 11:21:00

My tip for everyone (grownup included) is "don't be afraid to back out of a conversation if you feel uncomfortable".

If you don't feel quite right, you can just stop talking to someone then and there.

It's not your responsibility to entertain them or to listen to their problems or to act as their counsellor.

telsa Tue 05-Feb-13 11:51:40

It is impossible to really control what crops up on the internet - even an innocent search can lead to dodgy stuff. So, I talk about all that is out there with my children, so that it does not seem more glamorous or like a forbidden fruit. I also stress that the key thing is to never, ever, give out any identifying or personal details in any interaction online when in one of those chat-rooms such as BinWeevils.

borninastorm Tue 05-Feb-13 11:52:21

My best advice to other parents on Internet safety is - make sure you know, understand and can use all the many various sites your teenager uses.

We all know how to use Mumsnet, Facebook and Twitter. But what about Tumblr (cos that's the only one I can think of right now but there's plenty more my teen dd uses that I'd never heard of)? And did you know that apparently Tuesday is topless tumblr day where females post pics of themselves topless?

Or all the instant messaging services they use online?

If we can't use these sites then how can validly advise our children and teenagers on how to be safe on them? And how can we check up on them if we need to?

borninastorm Tue 05-Feb-13 11:53:38

I like your tip for grown ups trills.

Trills Tue 05-Feb-13 11:55:08

Thanks smile

MissRee Tue 05-Feb-13 12:01:50

~ How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.

DS (7) is not allowed to use my laptop on his own and he knows that he mustn't use Safari on the iPad. The rules are that he is only allowed on the internet if he is accompanied by someone.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?

DS doesn't really use the laptop for email/social networking so no, we haven't had this conversation yet.

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?

I would warn you off letting your children use chat rooms or forums where people could be someone other than who they claim to be. Keep your children off social networking like Facebook or Twitter for as long as possible! Although eventually, you will probably have to cave as peer pressure will get too much - then have the chat with them about not adding strangers and probably even get their password so you can keep an eye on their usage and communication. There is an awful lot of inappropriate content on FB now which you won't be able to shelter them from entirely.

prettybird Tue 05-Feb-13 12:08:55

~ How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.

Ds pretty much has carte blanche - but has to use the iPad in the same room as us. As he is still 12, he does not yet have a Facebook account, but he does have a twitter account. We monitor it closely - and he knows we do.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?

He is aware of the potential dangers - a combination of school talks and us just talking about it generally. The conversations ahve never become "heavy". Talk about potential problems openly and matter of factly.

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?

If you're not sure about a link, don't click on it. On Facebook, if someone has posted what looks like a strange link with no comment on it, don't click on it, or you could find yourself "click-jacked" and unwittingly pass on the same dubious link. Twitter likewise - if a friend DMs you with a strange message or link, don't click on it as they have probably been hacked.

ouryve Tue 05-Feb-13 12:09:31

Monitor your child's computer and Internet usage.

DS1 is 9 and has used a computer since he was 4. He uses it where we can see him. He likes to google for anything to do with lego. For something so innocuous sounding, you'd be surprised what can come up. By watching him there, we are able to say "sorry, that's too violent, let's find something more appropriate and enjoyable"

We are not about to let him skulk off into his room with a laptop anytime, soon.

Don't assume that a children's website is automatically safe

My 11yo niece has been allowed to do that for a few years. DH registered and set up her old computer for her and there's been a few times that he's had to contact SIL because DN has been wanting access to places like habbo hotel where there have been incidents of adults posing as young children and inviting them into private chats. Had he not been receiving notifications, SIL would probably have been completely unaware.

MmeLindor Tue 05-Feb-13 12:15:37

My top tip is not to rely on software alone to protect your children.

Children are often more tech savvy than their parents. As Borninastorm mentioned, make sure that you truly understand the websites and messaging services they use, and stay up to date.

Did you know for instance that KIK messaging now link to Reddit? I have removed KIK from our DC's iPods for this reason.

Be aware that you can have the best internet safety software, and have everything locked down, but when your child is at his friend's house, you have no idea what his parents have done.

Kids are going to see unsavoury stuff online, it is a fact of life. Talk to your kids in an age appropriate manner about this.

Also talk to them about what they post online, that everything they post online stays online - forever.

If they wouldn't be happy showing that picture to Granny, then they shouldn't put it online.

Doogle2 Tue 05-Feb-13 12:17:55

I have discussed internet safety with my son 9. He knows never to give out personal information and to tell us ASAP if someone asks a question re this.
He is not allowed on the Internet unless we are in the room and we supervise anything he googles or looks up on u-tube.

chrisrobin Tue 05-Feb-13 12:30:01

How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile. My DC are 4 and 7 but have to use the internet to do their homework. Either DH or I watch them while they are using it and DS2 is only allowed on the homework sites. DS1 has to use search engines for some of his homework so we help him to choose the most appropriate sites by using specific terms to search and going on sites he already knows like BBC. We also have a content filter on the broadband connection.

Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? Not yet as they are constantly supervised.

What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters? Don't just follow links, check them out first and always check suspicious emails too.

PhilMcAverty Tue 05-Feb-13 12:53:16

All web access is password protected so the can't get on line without me being there. On the kindle fire I've turned off one click purchase. V wise.

When they get older I'll create their own accounts with as much protection as I can on. They won't be allowed unrestricted access in their rooms.

Advice to other MNers.
1. Don't use the same password for every site.
2. Make all passwords over 8 characters and include capitals and numbers.
3. Never have a site remember your log in details as if you get hacked they'll be there for the hacker.
4. If you've ever done "what's your porn name? First pet & mothers maiden name" then you've given away the answers to the two most used safety questions to access accounts. Use different safety questions and don't give them away no matter how much you want to tell every one your porn / star wars / hobbit name.
5. There's some seriously dodgy fuckers on the internet so be careful what details you give away about yourself. Even with a pseudonym or nickname, you are still searchable.
6. If you're going to meet someone of the internet for the first time, choose a safe environment. I've met loads of lovely MNers and I've even met someone who is now one of my closest friends, but we first met in a public place in a group. Don't go alone to someone house until you know them a bit better.

IceNoSlice Tue 05-Feb-13 12:53:28

Probably one for grown ups buying stuff rather than a tip for kiddies, but when a website requires personal details, eg registration or buying stuff:

- give absolute minimum details
- consider a separate email address for Internet buying so you can keep personal email separate, you don't want a hacker emailing your mum and scaring her. I think email addresses you enter into websites are more likely to be hacked.
- think about the provenance on the website and check it is 'official', eg be careful of clicking through email links

Probably obvious to most of us, but not obvious to all of the older 'silver surfer' generation.

DifferentNow Tue 05-Feb-13 13:08:45

~ How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.

Initially, the only access to the internet the children had at home was on our family laptop which is only ever used in the lounge. We set up individual user accounts for each member of the family which were password protected. We also made use of the free parental controls available with our broadband package. I was able to monitor sites they'd visited this way. Now it is trickier as the 2 oldest DC have tablets and smartphones which they use in their bedroom, outside etc. School recently had someone in to talk to the older kids about internet safety and DD1 seemed to take a lot from it. DH and I don't use Facebook etc and some of my friends have expressed concern that we will soon have a teen DD who we will be poorly equipped to protect/relate to. We have encouraged the DC's school to run a similar internet safety event for parents.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?

We recently discovered accidentally that DD (age 11) had downloaded 2 'sex position' type apps. I was horrified and couldn't believe it even though the evidence was there. She was mortified when we confronted her about it. We didn't make a huge deal about it but it was a perfect opportunity to talk about what is and is not appropriate. I wasn't checking up on her when I came across it and haven't looked again since but I like the fact that she thinks I can! The experience has made me realise that there's a lot more going on in her head than I'd thought at this stage and that we need to try and encourage a more open forum at home where the DC can ask questions.

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?

Don't be naive in relation to your children - kids are inquisitive. Trust your instincts.

missorinoco Tue 05-Feb-13 13:27:08

Aged five and under all my children's intrenet use is supervised. What will I do later - get as much parental protection as I can, and remove all automatic logins.

Indith Tue 05-Feb-13 13:38:56

What TalkTalk would love to know is:

~ How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.

Mine are all 6 and under and we are not a very techy enabled household so they don't really use the computer at all, they've done the odd game on the cbeebies website but other than that their computer/internet use is limited to sending an e-mail form my account to grandpa, Skype with friends abroad and asking me to find muppet songs on youtube. They never use a computer unsupervised and it wouldn't occur to them to try.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?

No because they don't use it. It is a conversation I will have to have once they get a little more independent online (well, before then).

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?

Keep it public. Keep control. Remind them that if you wouldn't do it in real life you probably shouldn't do it online either. Of course in 10 years time I shall be eating my own hat.

Trouvere Tue 05-Feb-13 14:35:05

At the boringly mechanical end of internet safety, my browsers are locked down tight with NoScript and Adblock Plus. By default, nothing runs by itself.

Belo Tue 05-Feb-13 15:22:06

My DDs go on Moshi Monsters, Webkinz, Roosterbank and MovieStar planet. They're only allowed to be friends with people who they know in real life. They're 7 and 10 and I've told them that there are some people who enjoy pretending to be other people and will sometimes ask you trick questions. Therefore, you should only be friends with people you know.

Tweet2tweet Tue 05-Feb-13 15:35:30

Tips for safe Internet usage- young and old:

Don't use the same password for all your sites/logins
Don't use the password 'password'
Make sure you uncheck the 'keep me logged on' option unless you have a personal secure device
Clear your browsing history and temporary files at regular intervals
Install an effective virus/web browsing guard. You can download free from reputable Internet sites. Be warned that some banks won't cover you for hacking if you don't have a guard and your account is hacked into.

Specifically for kids:
Don't set example that surfing etc is what to do with down time. Encourage other interests; reading, playing outdoors etc
Don't have mobile app in one hand whilst giving your little one your 'undivided' attention
Minimise playing of computer games and rewarding 'winning'/reaching new levels. Although games have a place this is mainly a solitary activity
Talk about sweat you have posted on sites to try and encourage them to let you know what they have been posting
Have PCs in communal areas not in bedrooms etc

Now this is a very interesting topic. I have 3 children (12, 11 and 8) and I am very aware of the dangers of the internet. For this reason, I will not allow them on facebook until they are 13. The older two have mobile phones but are not allowed internet access out of the home. They have recently joined a messaging service called KIK and I have their passwords and can also see all their messages as they also come up on my ipad. Although they are aware of this access, I very rarely check it but think it's important for them to know.
I also have the passwords for their mobiles. We have talked about internet safety and only 'friending' people they know. We have one PC and it's in a public place in the home - no ipads or devices in bedrooms.
I would like to and be interested in setting up a safety net on the PC for kids and am currently looking into it. Would be very interested in any advice on that....

mill3003 Tue 05-Feb-13 16:38:11

My 2 daughters are currently only 4 & 6, so very rarely use the laptop, let alone the internet, but if they do use it, it is only to play a few games, which are loaded up by me or daddy & they know they're not allowed to search for anything themselves, plus they are always sat at the kitchen table, with at least 1 of us with them. I'm not sure how long we'll get away with this for, but as I have the "if they are old enough to ask, they are old enough to know" approach to most things, I will deal with it as & when I need to, with the help of parent controls to keep them safer!!

Snorbs Tue 05-Feb-13 16:46:55

My top tip for my DC's internet safety is to keep an eye on what it is they get up to online. Simple as that.

prettybird Tue 05-Feb-13 16:52:38

Ds also learnt a salutory lesson recently: he tried to open an account with Youtube (we'd been mucking about with loading a funny Burns Night video and he wanted to try to get it more hits, ie one from himself) - which he hadn't checked with us in advance about.

As a result, Google found out he was under 13 and locked him permanently out of his email account sad fortunately he didn't use it much but it's a hassle to try to remeber which programmes, like Club Penguin or CBBC, had been registered to that address

He's had a talking to but readily admits it was his own fault.

I absolutely agree with removing automatic logins. I found that it only took dd a few seconds to navigate away from a safe children's website onto amazon and about to buy an advertised product, with just a few clicks. It seems that you dont need to be able to know how to read to be able to buy things with the one'click option blush

My top tip for teenagers is to remind them that hacking into websites can be illegal and get them into an awful lot of trouble.

gazzalw Tue 05-Feb-13 17:03:37

I have an automatic log-in to DS's computer which I can access wherever I am, so I can check up on him and if he's playing too much Minecraft I can remotely turn off his computer or send him a message to ask him to change activities :-)

SunshinePanda Tue 05-Feb-13 17:06:18

Agree with others that talking regularly is invaluable, linking in also with the news when relevant. Remind my teenage DC you don't know if the person is who they say they are. Also once something has been put on the Internet it is always there it is not the same as just saying it to someone. Think very carefully before posting photos. No Facebook in our house until legally allowed at 13.

gazzalw - how do you do that and does your ds know that you are doing when you do?

gazzalw Tue 05-Feb-13 17:18:31

Yes he does! Particularly when he gets a message from me!

PM me if you want to know more!

Chickchickadee Tue 05-Feb-13 17:37:53

My DD is too young at the moment but I consider myself Internet savvy (work in web development and social media monitoring).

She won't be allowed unsupervised access to the Internet until she is much older. When she is using the iPad it will be disconnected from the Internet and WiFi passwords will be kept from her. The Internet is an amazing place I want her to explore but only by my side until she is old enough to understand what is inappropriate content.

Once she is old enough to use unsupervised it will only be on the main PC downstairs and only after she has been made aware never to give out any personal details and not to strike up conversation with people she hasn't met in real life.

As she enters teenage years I'll warn her that everything she posts on the Internet is traceable in someway and not to put anything out into the public domain unless you are comfortable with other people and not just your intended audience seeing it - friends / relatives / teachers / creepy old man down the road etc.

Roseformeplease Tue 05-Feb-13 17:45:26

My children know that there are rules and that usage which is abused will lead to them losing privileges. They both conceal their identities online and I have access to all their passwords and accounts.

We often talk about safety and, recently, there has been a nasty incident at school which has become a "teachable moment" as they know the people involved and what the dangers were.

My top tip is to use Facebook or any social networking sites under an alias. That way you can "disappear" from the virtual world and be untraceable. Facebook wants you to use your real name but it is easy to find one you can use instead. Also, don't do /write / post anything under your name unless you would be happy to have it shouted on the streets or published in the papers.

CheeryCherry Tue 05-Feb-13 18:17:35

My DCs are on FB but so am I, and many older relatives including grandparents, which is a perfect 'firewall' to stop them putting inappropriate items on their wall/profile etc! I don't comment on their pages, though other family members do, and they're quite happy with that.
I've had endless chats about 'people are probably not who they say they are' and 'if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is' etc, which helps and I know that their schools are hot on this subject. If I read any news items regarding internet scams/safety or paedophile online issues, we discuss them usually after meals round the table.
Top tips are to be trusting of your own DCs and open and honest yourself, have appropriate parental settings, and ensure they never give out personal details.

NicholasTeakozy Tue 05-Feb-13 18:37:43

The only site that has my real name on is Facebook, everywhere else I use a nickname.

I have NoScript and Adblock as addons to Firefox. I also have Ghostery to block tracking cookies.

Ensure your antivirus updates automatically.

poopoopoo Tue 05-Feb-13 18:40:13

My children are only 4 and 5 so I always get them using the laptop while they sit next to me so I can help them. I use the time on the desktop to get the shopping done online wink

Osmiornica Tue 05-Feb-13 18:40:40

~ How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.

My eldest (6) uses my laptop to access cbeebies but only when I'm with her - she doesn't have any other access to the internet. She does use my phone to play games but I have switched off the option to buy extra stuff and turned off the internet.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?

no, not yet.

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?

Erm, not sure. The internet is not something they use very often so I haven't really thought about it much. Now they're getting older I guess I should be thinking about all this more.

EwanHoozami Tue 05-Feb-13 18:53:38

My son is nearly four. I want the concept of teaching internet safety to seem as natural and instinctive as teaching him safety in the real world so we take the same approach.

We will gently introduce the idea of Stranger Danger as meaning the same thing online as it would in the playground. Obviously he's not using social networking yet (!) but we try and 'flesh out' the reality that strangers exist in both realms by asking questions to prompt awareness.

For example when DH and DS are playing a darts game on his phone and a real opponent comes online to play, we will flag this up.

I quite like this resource from BrainPOP Jr and plan to show it to him soon.

lisad123everybodydancenow Tue 05-Feb-13 19:37:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flamingtoaster Tue 05-Feb-13 19:56:39

Children should not surf in bedrooms - and parents should periodically "walk past".
Be sceptical when surfing - it is easy to be taken in by information or mischievious people.
Regularly run virus, adware and spyware scans.
Never give more information to a website than you absolutely have to - and consider having an "internet" birthday which is not your real birthday.

BabaYaya Tue 05-Feb-13 20:30:55

When shopping online use a credit card, not a debit card. You've more protection and if someone gets your debit card details you may have to redirect your direct debits etc on that account.

Don't blindly trust what you read. Consider the source.For example, health advice from a company you haven't heard of, but who will diagnose you online and sell treatments... Hmm. Ditto people who have written product recommendations or give advice on forums. Double check before acting on anything you read that isn't backed up by a name you trust.

Consider anything you write or send to be in the public domain. It is. This includes forums, emails, facebook etc.

Ensure you have internet security on your computer and if running apps on a smartphone, think about whether the app genuinely needs the permissions it asks for. Only download from recognised app stores.

HappySunflower Tue 05-Feb-13 20:34:23

Set up parental controls on each device...iPods and tablets as well as computers.
Computer time should always be in the same room as an adult.

These are aimed at KS1 children.
Don't set up parent controls, talk to your children instead! They will access the Internet when you are not with them, teach them how to stay safe, don't ban them from anything!
Help them spell words before they search.
Help them identify what makes them feel uncomfortable and when something happens that makes them feel that way, be available for them to tell.
Supervise Internet activity - a biggie.
Keep passwords, etc safe & don't leave a computer logged on especially if they are logged on to a social networking website like Moshi Monsters or Facebook when older.
Use this website to search safely online.
Speak to people online as you would speak to people if they were standing in front of you.
Don't make friends with strangers online.
Embrace their online world.

Again, don't ban anything!!!

youmaycallmeSSP Tue 05-Feb-13 21:31:55

- DS is only 3 but he does use our iPads with Internet access. We always supervise him when he's using one as he's so little but DH and I have discussed general ground rules for when he's a bit older. We plan on having a shared computer in the family room for the DC to use so that they're less likely to stray off into inappropriate websites by accident or through curiosity, and they won't be allowed to use chat rooms until we judge them mature enough to understand the dangers and have access to their own PCs/smartphone/whatever it will be in 10 years time.

- No conversations yet as they're too young but we will bring this up in an age-appropriate way as we do with other personal safety topics.

- If you feel like you need to hide your Internet use from your DP or, if you're a child, from your parents, then you're almost certainly using it inappropriately. Safety is about so much more than not sneaking off to meet strangers off a dodgy forum (grin). Gambling, dating sites, eBay, forums, 'special interest' websites etc. can all lead you to make unwise choices that threaten the physical, emotional and financial security of you and your family.

agirland2boys Tue 05-Feb-13 21:42:50

- no internet access allowed in bedrooms
- 30 minutes at a time max, in most cases
- try to position it so the screen is facing outward in plain view of passers-by

whattodoo Tue 05-Feb-13 22:13:47

My DD is 4yo and only just starting to show an interest in 'grown up' computers. She knows to ask before using, and we always do activities together.

We haven't yet spoken about appropriate/inappropriate use.

Tip - don't be afraid, just take the same sort of precautions you would in RL - don't leave your purse (bank details) in view, keep your PIN (login details) secret, log out at end of activity (zip your handbag when not in use) etc.

Eastpoint Tue 05-Feb-13 22:45:06

~ How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.

My children have all been given talks about internet safety at school and we also attended talks given by their schools. Subsequently we discussed what had been raised and how we felt these issues affected us. Children are not allowed to go on the internet/tablet/mobile unless given permission - DS13 & DD11 do not have internet enabled phones/tablets/laptops. DD15 has an iPad which she uses in her own room. I am a friend of hers on Facebook and she is very responsible & does not post images of her friends faces unless she has their consent (I know this as some friends only appear as handprints as those are their family's rules). She has a Blackberry which she got when she was nearly 13 having demonstrated over the previous 18 months that she was responsible. We have had lots of talks about how people are not necessarily who they claim to be on FB/texts and that anything you write electronically can exist forever. My DD11 is not on Facebook and has the older daughter's previous phone which is a very basic PAYG. My DS13 has no interest in having a phone. They also know that if they google something inappropriate it will show up in 'history' and that if 'history' is clear they are in big trouble. Laptops are only used in the kitchen/diningroom/sitting room/playroom.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to? Yes after talks held by school also after reading articles in the paper or after hearing news items on the radio (no tv in kitchen). Lots of discussion about people potentially feeling left out with instant messaging & how important to make sure not bullying etc. Have raised hypothetical issues and children have enjoyed discussions.

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters? Talk to your children, treating them as sensible individuals and behave responsibly yourself. Don't post anything anywhere which you feel could give you a bad reputation, remember that future employers/universities will be able to look at pictures/postings and that this could affect your future. The internet is a wonderful resource and we are very lucky to have it.

butterflymum Tue 05-Feb-13 23:22:28

If using google browser, make sure safesearch is set as standard on their computer:

www.safesearchkids.com/

dotcomlovenest Wed 06-Feb-13 08:28:38

They are not allowed to register for a site without my permission. They must tell me if they are in a conversation with soneonethey feel uncomfortable about.
I dont put any parental safe modes on anything as I don't think they work very well. My daughters school has a system in place and she is forever telling me that so and so typed in something and got boobs. My partner worked for their IT department and was forever having to ban a new site.
I think teaching our children what is appropriate and what isn't is far more valuable.

dotcomlovenest Wed 06-Feb-13 08:31:09

They are not allowed to register for a site without my permission. They must tell me if they are in a conversation with soneonethey feel uncomfortable about.
I dont put any parental safe modes on anything as I don't think they work very well. My daughters school has a system in place and she is forever telling me that so and so typed in something and got boobs. My partner worked for their IT department and was forever having to ban a new site.
I think teaching our children what is appropriate and what isn't is far more valuable.

ClaraOswinOswald Wed 06-Feb-13 09:03:04

~ How do you go about making sure your children use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use?

Internet use is restricted to downstairs. I limit screen time anyway so this isn't difficult to enforce. I am trying to prepare them for realistic internet use, so don't have parental controls or filters, I have rules and open dialogue instead.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?

The children's uncle does a lot of work on anti-bullying in schools, so I got him to have a chat about Cyberbullying to back up what I've been saying. Their safety is my responsibility and I don't sugarcoat things. For example, making sure they know it's more likely to be some weirdo trying to friend them than the actual Harry Styles!

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?

Be open- if you supervise your children, keep them informed and have an open dialogue so that they can approach you if need be, you are on the way to keeping them safe.
Know what they are using. So many parents have no clue about Facebook, Kick, Facetime, Ask, etc. You need to know what they have access to in order to keep tabs on your children.
Start the dialogue/rules young, so that by the time they want FB etc. your rules are already set and followed.

ClaraOswinOswald Wed 06-Feb-13 09:04:56

Forgot to add, I tell them to not share passwords with anyone except me. They know I check their FB accounts and am on their friends lists. They have to check before adding anyone and if they can't account for someone on their friends list, they lose their account.

JenniferHelen Wed 06-Feb-13 09:59:50

We're super cautious about opening any links; not only does this let viruses in, but it can give predators access to your computer leading the way to identity theft and other sinister activities. If a friend sends you a link in any email with not much other text, and the tone doesn't sound like them, it's a hoax and best ignored.

turnipvontrapp Wed 06-Feb-13 10:10:38

Ours use the laptop in the kitchen, never bedrooms. The iPod touches are more of a problem. They have restricted access re the content on them.

Know of a friend's child who was 8 and was at a friend's house, they were looking at animals and saw something completely inappropriate and disturbing that an 8 year old should never have seen.

Please Talktalk use your power to lobby the government to make it law that you specifically have to opt into porn rather than everyone can access it. Know there has been talk of this. Do it so our kids can be protected and remain children.

zzzexhaustedzzz Wed 06-Feb-13 10:28:56

My advice: Have the computer in a public room ie not kids bedrooms! My daughter went with me to visit a friend. My daughter and friends daughter (both 9) went upstairs with laptop, and, my daughter later fessed up, accessed some porn.... I was not happy. Friends daughter when questioned said she had done it before! AND it happened to be stuff on my friends favourites or history from her own viewing! That was 4 years ago. My daughter has not been scarred by her experience, so far as I can tell... I was just relieved that she told me, as obviously she felt awkward about it. I am much more careful now and speak to parents of my kids friends about it when I know there is internet access out of sight.

Gracelo Wed 06-Feb-13 10:51:37

I'd love to benefit from TalkTalk's fancy Homesafe internet security thingummy but they don't actually offer services at my postcode. To be fair neither does any other provider besides BT and Sky.
At the moment I keep a close eye on the children while they are online but I need to have a chat with them, especially dd (8), about internet security quite soon. I'd like to see a law that makes porn opt in rather than freely accessible as well.

Blatherskite Wed 06-Feb-13 11:04:37

~ How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.

DS has his own log on to the computer which is controlled by a program called Kiddesktop. It will only let him access specific pages of specific websites as preset by us - we can even lock off the printing options so that he doesn't waste tonnes of paper printing off "certificates" from the Cbeebies website smile It also has a timer function and will shut itself down after a preset amount of time which saves arguments about coming off.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?

We've talked more about the behaviour of others rather than his own as he is only 5 and isn't on websites where he could interact with others yet. He's asked questions about why we don't let him use websites like Youtube unsupervised but we've just said that not everything on there is suitable for children.

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?

I think a lot of children just need more supervision on the internet. We're lucky in that our PC is in a very public area of the house so it's easy to keep an eye on them and they're still young enough for it not to have occurred to them to mind. Make the most of parental controls, safe search options and blocking.

zoez Wed 06-Feb-13 12:55:53

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

NowWhatIsit Wed 06-Feb-13 13:44:36

Only 1 rule - laptop stays in main living room where I can see what they're doing.

At the moment my little one is 20 months, so I am not really faced with this problem right now. Tbh it frightens me to even think about the Internet and child's. obv, not in a daily fail kind of way but just in the endlessness of it all... Like when Prof Cox bangs on about million, trillion years etc... It just blows my mind.

I know from an adult point of view I have seen things on the Internet through very innocent means. That said, you only need to go on FB these days and 'friends' are sharing pictures which are viral and apparently clicking on it is showing your support... Grim.

I think the poster who mentioned ensuring you are able to not only use but understand the sites that are frequented by children/teenagers would be top of my list.

Making sure the computer is in a room that is family orientated and not tucked away in a room on its own.

I hope I have a better plan once DS is older.

bubby64 Wed 06-Feb-13 15:44:43

Q1 -I have internet security on all our computers and mobile, and this includes parental controls. On the computer and laptop the DC have their own log in and this has age appropriate controls set, they do not know the adult log in passwords. I have also activated appropriate parental controls on their phones, much to my DS (12) disgust.
Q2 -Yes, we have had this conversation, frequently!! whenever DS wants to go on website that are blocked!! I always say that I will look at the website, and find out its content, and if appropriate, will add it to their "allowed" sites.
Q3 -Most internet providers and mobile phone providers do have some sort of parental controls, get in touch with them to find out what is available and use them. I also have made it a rule in our house that I either know thier passwords, and can check their browsing history on various devices, or they dont have them. They are not allowed to delete this history, or its an automatic ban. This seems harsh, but I have learned from previous mistakes!!

Hopezibah Wed 06-Feb-13 16:04:05

~ How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.

The computer / ipad needs to be in a family room whilst the kids use it. That way we can keep an eye on what is happening. We used to have software that blocked dodgy websites but it became frustrating as it blocked almost everything and it became a hassle to keep unblocking or changing the settings.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?

We are very clear about them only being 'friends' with people they know in real life. We have also explained that people are not always who they seem online because they could be pretending to be someone else. They seem to understand this. Some of the games websites they use have a way of blocking and reporting dodgy activity by others and my children are aware of this. They also know not to give out any real names or personal information about themselves.

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?

Be very aware that people are not always what they seem and don't automatically trust people. Keep the computer in a shared room like the living room and not in your own bedroom.

CheeseStrawWars Wed 06-Feb-13 16:33:08

~How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.

At the moment DD and DS are 4 and 2. Rules are that they only use the computer with me or DH with them, and only for one hour. At preschool they use the internet to play games, and I have to trust they have adequate supervision/firewalls etc in place. The problem I can see is when they are older and can access the internet via their friends' mobiles.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?

We haven't yet, but CEOP's Thinkuknow website has some animated videos about "keeping yourself safe online" for 5yr olds upwards. DH and I are going to watch them first and then keep them in reserve for the time when that conversation becomes appropriate.

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?

That CEOP website is quite useful, with banded info for 5-7yrs, 8-10yrs, 11-16 and parents. I heard of it through another Mumsnetter who was pointed at it when her daughter was having problems with online messaging from someone pretending to be younger.

Arcticwaffle Wed 06-Feb-13 17:56:38

~ How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.

Yes, we have rules for 12 and 11yo. they have their own laptops but these laptops go to "sleep" at 9pm til 7am so they can't be on chatrooms (or anything) late at night.
dd1 is nearly 13 and on Facebook but I have access to her account and I can check what's going on, she's happy with that.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?

Yes we talk about that sort of thing a lot, the dc are willing to agree, at the moment, to anything really as they can see it's that or not have internet access.

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?

keep talking about why it matters to be sensible and careful on chatrooms. Watch TV news sessions about this or read newspaper articles on it with them. Then the rules seem less arbitrary and unfair, if they can see that sometimes thigns do go wrong or get out of hand.

~ How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.
My dd is only 3 so it's not a huge problem yet. At the moment and for the forseeable future all access is strictly monitored. She doesn't use it unless we are sitting with her.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?
Not yet as she is too young but we will be stipulating 'Don't do anything that you wouldn't do in real life' and 'Don't give ANY personal details ever unless you've cleared it with your parents'.

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?
Be vigilant, use filters, set up networks etc. One day your kids will come across something that they shouldn't, it's unavoidable, but you can lessen the chances of it happening.

Everyone who posts their comments here will be entered into a prize draw to win a £250 Love2Shop voucher.

Skyebluesapphire Wed 06-Feb-13 20:21:01

DD is 4yo. She is only allowed on the computer with my supervision as I use it for work and therefore cannot have her breaking it. She goes on Moshi Monsters and CBeebies and Nick Jr and that is it.

As she grows up, she will have strict controls on her computer and I will talk to her about grooming etc (sadly actually had this happen to a family member), so very important that they understand these things.

The main thing is to never give out Real Life information, as a child as people are too easily traceable nowadays, thanks to the internet

abbeynationall Wed 06-Feb-13 20:58:00

In addition to the brilliant tips above,
1. filter what children can access on the web. There are softwares out there created purposely for filtering content e.g K9 (this one is free, it is used in some educational institutions and gets good reviews)
2. Create a user accounts for them that doesn't allow downloading content i.e a user account with very limited priviledges for lack of a better word
If your kids are still young and you're apprehensive of introducing them to the internet, Install games and other educational programmes (on the newly created kids account) but disable the web browser.
3. Teach them to create strong passwords after they leave home , not input very personal info on the net e.g House number. Teach them to just click on spam for any emails from unrecognized senders. ditto any lotto wins. Teach them to be weary of any nigerian tycoons asking for bank account details.

For adults, protect your computer against spyware, malware , viruses etc by using a security software. I highly recommend microsoft security essentials, its free, effective, doesn't take up much space,easy to use and quite unobtrusive

Change your password every 6 months and try to have a separate one for your online banking and paypal - where applicable.

Don't reaveal too much on the net - Its indestructible and will still be there long after you're gone

littlemonkeychops Wed 06-Feb-13 21:12:47

DD1 is only 22 months so i've not had to deal with this issue yet. Once she starts to use the internet it will only be with our supervision at first. As she gets older we will have to investigate parental controls, hopefully by the time she uses it unsupervised there will be efficient straightforward controls (that's what i'm hoping anyway as i'm not the best with technology!).

GetKnitted Wed 06-Feb-13 22:01:09

DS is 4 and his internet is locked down to cbeebies. I expect we'll have to alter this in time and begin to talk to him more about what he can look at and why not other things.

He's not old enough to talk about social networking yet!

For me, the latest web safety rule I have learnt is to never ever EVER click on an interesting looking video on facebook blush

zipzap Wed 06-Feb-13 22:58:17

~ How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.

Internet use is definitely a treat. Some bits like watching Youtube are only done when mummy or daddy are there and in control, other usage is monitored as described below. We are only just beginning to get to start to need to use the internet for ds1's homework so just beginning to feel our way around that.

DC are 7and 4. DS1 is allowed to use the internet on one of the PCs at home, in DH's office. He's only allowed on it when dh isn't working (although it's his home pc rather than one of his work ones - if he touched one of his work PCs I don't think he'd ever be allowed back on the internet!) but DH will often still be in his office - or at least in and out of it. Plus he keeps a close eye on the sites visited - during and after the sessions so if he spots anything dodgy he's on it pretty quickly. There are a set number of sites he is allowed to go to on his own (typically Cbeebies or CBBC, the disney sites, the nick jr sites etc), all of which are bookedmarked in a directory with DS's name on. He hasn't been too bad at wandering beyond these - if he has, it's usually because he has spotted an advert on a site he was on for another site that has a favourite character in and not realised that he has gone to a different site. He's learnt pretty quickly though and that hasn't happened for a while.
DS2 is that much younger and therefore sees the Internet on the PC as a spectator sport - watching his big brother playing assorted games (ds1 has cunningly learnt to say 'look ds2 aren't WE doing well!!' and throw in the odd game that has one of ds2's favourite characters in and ds2 is happy!
DS2 however is a demon on the iPad and iPhone - I try to ensure that when he plays on them they are set to not connect to the internet so that he can't inadvertently buy credits or apps and run up a huge bill. Even though he can't really read, he is fearless in exploring games and apps so can play most of the things I have on them better than me. I have tried to stick most of the apps that are for the dc on a couple of screens so they don't get into things that they shouldn't but they also use the camera (I love discovering pictures or video of them doing stuff when I'm not around - closest thing I'm going to get to being a fly on the wall!) and know how to turn wifi off.

I also worry about them being boys and sitting for long periods of time with these sort of electrical things on their laps - and therefore on their still developing genitals. I do worry for their children - nobody really knows what effects any of the electro magnetic radiation (think that's what it is called) will have long term, so I do try to make them use it on a table or even just stick it on a cushion, just in case, especially if they have a long go on it. Would be nice to buy something especially designed for this purpose though!
.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?

Yes - have had a basic conversation about what's appropriate online - but for now, as both dc are young, it was fairly tame - not least because until fairly recently ds1's reading and writing skills were not good enough to worry about him wandering into dodgy areas. he's just started at junior school and starting to use more so it's time for the next step of the conversation. He's not old enough for social networking sites yet so that side of things hasn't come up, we'll talk about it before he sets up a facebook (or whatever is popular in a few years time!) account.

And yes, he did get the message we intended to. We're doing it in chunks, starting early so hopefully it's not too much to remember for him, and we are around lots to monitor and see when it is time to talk about the next lot of stuff and spot any problems.

We are also very keen that they are very open to us with what they are doing online - if they spot anything strange or are not sure about anything, they know to ask immediately and not to start clicking on random buttons (having witnessed the aftermath of a friend's young dd play on her big sister's lap top, which hadn't been backed up. young dd did something that started to wipe the entire hard drive (including all her gcse course work) - she went to ask what to do but as the rest of the family were all in the middle of doing something she waited her turn instead of realising that she needed to interrupt urgently on this occasion - and in the mean time it meant that most of the memory was deleted, rather than the much smaller amount that would have been lost if stopped considerably earlier.
.

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?

- start early and start on the internet together
- create a directory of bookmarks with the child's name so they know exactly where they can go
- say you know that they might inadvertently click on something by mistake - if that happens they need to let mummy or daddy know immediately (and not to get cross if this happens, particularly when they are younger - bit different when they are 13 and have done something maliciously)
- create rules in conjunction with the dc for using the internet together, both when they are allowed to use it (eg as a reward, treat, time spent online, earliest and latest time they can be online) and what they are allowed to do when using it (sites they can visit etc). Make sure these are printed up and stuck near the pc (or family noticeboard etc) so they cannot be forgotten about.
- If using a mobile device with youngsters, teach them to turn off the internet when playing on apps, it's not necessary most of the time and will stop anything being ordered online without being realised
- Create yourself a second birthday date - so that when you get asked to enter your birthdate on a site that demands it but you don't want to give away personal info, you can use it and then not forget it when you need to provide it as ID at some point later and are screwed because you aren't sure what it is. Chose an easy date to remember for you - say 1st Jan 81 or 14 Feb or christmas day or when JFK was shot etc. And make a hidden note of it in your diary or somewhere just in case you still manage to forget it - eg list it as Aunt Ethel's birthday. Obviously if you are dealing with the bank or tax man etc you need to give your real date of birth!
- create a password system for yourself for sites that need passwords but that you don't need them to be that strong (ie not for the bank or tax man). For example use the first 6 letters of the site's name but back to front, 1st and 3rd letter as capitals and follow by a number 00 or 47 (eg on here - EnSmum47) so you will always be able to work out what your password is.
-Likewise, create yourself answers to all the other typical questions that you get asked - mother's maiden name, first pet, where you were born, first school, etc etc. Keep these somewhere safe but that you know in case you forget them. They are not going to go check that it really is your mother's maiden name or your first school and fine you if you tell them the wrong answer - they just want to be able to have something they can ask you. Again - this is especially so for sites that don't really need to be that nosy and where the details could be hacked - and then used to steal your identity. So go for something that you will remember and use them consistently and it will be much safer (or if you have sites that fall into different categories - eg work related ones, shopping ones, fun content ones then create 3 different online security personas for yourself to use.

musthavecoffee Thu 07-Feb-13 06:19:32

I always make sure I am in the sae room as DS when he is online.

my ds is nearly 6 and so far he never goes onto the internet at home - the nearest is sitting next to me watching funny cat videos or me showing him pages on things he's learning about at school or interested in.

currently there is just my laptop in the house. about twice a year i wonder whether i need to get a desktop and set it up in a communal area and then i decide against it.

i'm afraid that despite being a very liberal mum in some ways (my child plays out on our street, has been allowed to go solo to the shop round the corner once and has quite a lot of freedom compared to most children these days) i am the opposite when it comes to this stuff. he won't have a mobile phone for the sake of it. if he went to a secondary school that required getting a bus (and in all likelihood he won't) then i'd maybe let him have one but without internet access. i don't believe kids need to be on computers at this stage and when it comes to him needing to (more independent homework etc) then it will be in a communal space in the house with me in and out of the room.

he has a wii but doesn't connect to anything on it yet other than iplayer to re-watch doctor who episodes and has a ds. so he things to play games on - it's not me being anti-screen time - but no internet access.

i will be having conversations with him about internet safety over time - i'm also aware of loads of great videos and resources on this topic through work that really are very good and i'll use those with him. i will also be educating him on porn when the time comes and know of lots of resources for helping with that.

it's bizarre really that some people are afraid to let their children play out on the street they live in and know people on but are ok with letting them lose onto the internet confused as much as i spend way too much time online i don't want the same for a child. i want them to be out with their real friends in real space playing real games and building up real social confidence and relationships experience. it will become a pressure of course when all his friends have mobile phones and facebook accounts and yada yada but i'm prepared to deal with that because i believe it's important.

loose!

WibbleBoy Thu 07-Feb-13 13:27:33

~ How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.

Time on the internet is strictly limited and the computer is in the living room where it can be monitored at all times. Windows safety features are enabled, so I get a weekly breakdown of the sites which have been visited and can disable access to them (remotely, if I need to).

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?

We try to discuss these topics with DS1 where possible.

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?

The best way would be to keep an eye on your kids all the time they are online. If you can't monitor them all the time, enable any logging, content and URL filtering controls you have access to. Check their web history on a regular basis for dubious websites.

If you don't want to be contacted by third party companies, be sure to tick the relevant "don't pass on my details" box. Make sure you have two email addresses, one for important correspondence and another for sigining up to mailing lists, etc.

Loretta61 Thu 07-Feb-13 18:11:22

You already know kids are more tech savvy than we are. Here's an example. When DS was 13, I set the laptop's parental controls so his Internet would shut down at 10 PM. I was surprised therefore to discover him surfing later at night. He had re-set the laptop's time zone to the Cape Verde islands, so he got an extra hour. Bloody clever really.

Quick tip for the adults and any teens that have a youth bank account -

If you haven't set up internet banking, do it now. Populate it with your passwords and security questions before some fucking arsehole intercepts your replacement debit card in the post and sets it up on their own behalf in order to empty your account or launder cheques. angry

Also, arrange for your replacement cards to be sent to your local branch for collection. That's not really to do with the internet though.

Smudging Thu 07-Feb-13 19:34:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

phyliszaltman9 Thu 07-Feb-13 21:23:52

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jennywren123 Thu 07-Feb-13 23:56:38

~ How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.

Our main computer is in the kitchen with the screen facing outwards (ie not hidden) so we can see what websites they are using.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?

Yes, we have had various conversations explaining what is appropriate. They have had numerous sessions on Internet safety at school. I think they are pretty clued up, but it's so easy to fall into a trap, isn't it?

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?

No Internet access in bedrooms for children.

WowOoo Fri 08-Feb-13 10:52:19

Rules:
My eldest son is 6.
The computer is in full view on kitchen table. Everyone can see.
The dc are only allowed to play on the iPad around me. This is more so I know they're looking after it, rather than internet safety. (they only play games or apps as I have hidden Google)

Conversations?:
I have spoken to my 6 year old about searching on YouTube. I want him to be careful, so I have asked him not to.

He was doing a skateboard search that I thouhgt was OK. A gang of skateboarders were talking - swearing and smoking spliffs. He didn't notice the drugs, but he was in awe of the swearing and was most unhappy when I made him turn it off!

I have spoken to him about only having friends he actually knows in real life on Moshi Monsters. I need to talk about this again.

Advice:Keep the computer/tablet device in full view for as long as you can. Talk about what they could see, why they should be wary.
When a child is older, it depends how trustworthy and sensible they are.
For now, my eldest is not allowed to take the iPad into his bedroom. It's mine!

zipzap Fri 08-Feb-13 14:41:37

The day after doing this, ds1 came home all fired up about internet safety because they had had a policewoman come to school to talk about it - this was something the school had organised and hadn't mentioned in any newsletters or said that they were doing, they were assuming pupils would tell parents they had done it I suppose.

Talking to ds about it afterwards, one of the main things he had taken away was the fact that people walking past him might read over his shoulder and steal his information so you should always use the PC with the door closed so strangers can't walk past and steal your info. Which is great - except for the fact that at his age - 7 - he's not using the computer out and about. He's using it at home. And I want him to keep the door open so I can see what he's using and what's happening - there aren't random strangers walking around the house and if there were I'd be a hell of a lot more worried about other things happening than them stealing his data! Even after telling him this, he was still a bit nervous about using the pc with the door open as it was different from what the policewoman had told him was right.

This lead me to think of a couple of things to add to this...

1. Talk to your child's school about what they do to teach children about internet safety. Ideally this should be done from infant school onwards - as soon as they are telling children to use Google for their homework and integrated into regular reminders throughout teaching. It's not a one off thing - as children get older and their use of the internet increases and varies, they need updated, age-appropriate reminders.

2. Find out from the school when they are doing internet safety sessions and then talk to your child afterwards to see what they have been taught, to make sure 1) that they have remembered the information and 2) haven't come away with any mixed messages as happened for ds.

mummyofcutetwo Fri 08-Feb-13 19:15:19

Biggest tip would be to keep the device within your range so you can keep a quiet tab on what your LO is up to, without him feeling you're constantly looking over his shoulder.

Our 4 year old knows what he can and can't do, and is excellent at sticking to the rules (long may it last!). My biggest problem is older children showing him unsuitable games etc even when they've been told repeatedly not to. Then he's just told he can't play games with them again for a period of time.

We've not had to talk to him about chatting to people as he's only four. Not looking forward to that one! Just wish kids could be left to be kids without having to explain about nasty people in the big bad world...

emilywq Sat 09-Feb-13 13:07:29

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greengoose Sat 09-Feb-13 14:03:18

My top tip would be to find out what your kids do at friends houses. We have had to stop any visits to by our ten year old to one of his friends houses, because a little digging told us that the other kid was not being monitored at all while on Internet.
At home we keep DC in the same room, and have the parental controls quite well sorted. YouTube is the one to be careful of, so quick to open something wrong, and then be linked to lots of other clips too.
Our kids are too young (we think) for social networking, but I'm dreading that becoming a problem.... It's hard enough for adults! And quite rightly teenagers don't want mums peering over their shoulders... I guess we just hope our sons will have a moral compass firmly fitted by then, but that might be asking a bit much of them!

Anifrangapani Sat 09-Feb-13 23:18:24

Use an ISP that can provide a fixed address so you can log onto a Citrix server. That way you don't have to drive in the snow.

MariusEarlobe Sun 10-Feb-13 10:53:19

Internet has to be used in the living room or kitchen so that we can see what is on the screen when passing, I do not stand over put I do glance on the way past.

I have talked to dc about people not always being who they say they are on the internet.

I know passwords for the things she uses, I monitor it.

As she is only 10 I sometimes log in and check messages on Moshi Monsters and such.

Lilypie10 Sun 10-Feb-13 11:17:58

I just really wanted to bring awareness to any parents out there who let there children have access to the Kindle Fire products. I bought two for my children only to discover that in the App Store under Entertainment, right next to apps that children would be drawn to (ie, The Snowman, WWF etc) were FREE porn apps - I could not believe that on a product marketed at families, my children were one click away from accessing free porn. I applied parental restrictions but the apps were still visible. The only way to delete these apps is to delete the whole App Store from the device.

I contacted Amazon and they basically tried to say it must be a bad batch and that they had not come across this before. I returned the products but felt very concerned that the company were not bothered by this, even though David Cameron has pledged to make it harder for children to access porn on the Internet. Here is a household name company making it FREELY available in an App Store.

However, last week when visiting a friend, she happened to mention that her son had got a Kindle Fire for his birthday and I asked if I could check out the App Store as explained that I had bought two from a 'dodgy batch'. But my friend and I were both shocked to see at last 7 Free Porn apps in the entertainment section such as HOt India Babes/ Espanol Sex/ SEx positions etc. my friend clicked on one to see what would happen if her son had done the same and it opened up graphic porn pictures with links to more hardcore porn sites.

IS THIS ACCEPTABLE AMAZON???
No one seems to be taking this seriously or interested at all and I cannot believe I am the only parent outraged by this disgusting disregard for our children.
I have contactd watchdog, The Daily Mail and The Guardian and none of the reporters have responded. Are they in Amazons pocket?
I am turning to you lovely mums out there to let you know so that you can check your Kindle Fires for these apps and please if you find them on there and think like me, please let me know so we can get this to public attention.
Thank you!

Mouseface Sun 10-Feb-13 15:08:59

~ How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.

We have HomeSafe by TalkTalk and it's fantastic! Before that, we had a rule that ONLY homework was done one the PC and NOTHING else. DD is 14 and has her own iPhone, Netbook etc, I can't control what she goes on out of the home, which does concern me but we've spoken about the dangers of crooming, porn sites, entering her personal details on websites for games etc.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?

Yes, especially once she got her own 'devices' that enabled her to gain internet access away from the home. We talked about stranger danger and how there are people out there in chat forums and on FB, Twitter who may not be all that they seem. We just sat and talked about it, I also explained that I could go through her browsing history at any time and that I would do, even the deleted stuff, should I feel that she may not be keeping to the rules set out.

(We have a friend who works in IT and can do this for us, even if she deletes her browsing history)

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?

Use a service provider such as TalkTalk who can provide HomeSafe or similar and then YOU can choose what your child can view in the home. It's fantastic and will block ANYTHING inappropriate, (I get a notice as the account holder, telling me that something has been blocked and why when I'm on-line as I control the settings) so I have piece of mind that all family members are safe from things that they shouldn't be viewing!

Cherrybright Sun 10-Feb-13 18:41:02

My dd is too young to use the net, so i dont have to worry just yet about her safety or chats.

My advice with internet safety is, only add to your social networks people you know. Check what your kids are looking at and keep laptops etc out of bedrooms

FrantasticO Sun 10-Feb-13 20:28:48

We have rules

No Internet use without adult in the vicinity, games i player etc ok as I veto first.

Yes we have had conversation re people could pretend or tell lies via Internet. Not been an issue yet as too young to be part of Facebook, joint games etc.
Oldest is 8.

Advice for MN would be to keep the computer or tablet in family space where activity can be monitored. Harder with older kids.

MrsKwazii Sun 10-Feb-13 22:29:19

My DD is too young to use the internet yet, but when she is I'll be taking the latest advice and info from CEOPS - they provide information and advice about staying safe online.

My nephew is 13 and I follow him on Twitter and FB to keep in touch and keep a friendly eye on him. Have been able to alert him to a Twitter hack before and gently suggest that he deletes some FB posts - as an adult I can see the potential consequences of some posts much more clearly than he can. I'll be doing the same for DD when the time comes.

Clawdy Mon 11-Feb-13 10:48:57

Always use the mantra: Computers are wonderful - and dangerous. Be sensible.

LittleBallOfFur Mon 11-Feb-13 12:59:46

This is more from my experience as a teenager than from being a parent as my DS is still very young. My tip would be to have the computer in a communal area, as some have already suggested, e.g. living room, so that there can be no secretive logging on/dubious activity going unnoticed (like Snorbs says, keep an eye on what they get up to online).

I had a PC in my room when I was 16/17 and struck up a 'friendship' with a boy. Never quite got to meeting him, but almost did sensibility prevailed. And I still don't think my parents have any idea.

PostBellumBugsy Mon 11-Feb-13 13:49:43

How do you go about making sure your child(ren) use the internet safely? Do you set any rules about internet use? This could be on the home computer, tablet or mobile.

I have always had the laptops/ PC in the kitchen/family room. As well as having parental controls on the devices, it also meant I could see what they were doing. Didn't have to stand over their shoulder but was just aware of what they were looking at.

~ Have you ever had a conversation with your child(ren) about what kind of behaviour is appropriate and inappropriate online? If so, how did you broach the topic? How did the conversation go? Did you get across the message(s) you intended to?

Yes, we've had lots of chats about online behaviour & safety. It happened very easily as the PCs & laptops were in the room, so I could easily talk about sites they were looking at. I've also been to a seminar on internet safety at my eldest's school, which gave me another oppotunity to talk about it. I also signed both my DCs up to facebook early enough that I could do it with them. This was a hugely good way to talk about all the really stupid stuff that other kids do!!!!!!!

~ What advice about using the internet safely, either for yourself, or your family, would you share with other Mumsnetters?

Attend an internet safety talk if you possibly can. Have good virus protection installed, good malware protection. Make sure your settings delete cookies, temp files etc at the end of an internet session. Don't have one password for everything & change passwords regularly.

Don't shy away from letting your DCs use the internet early. The younger they are the more likely they are to listen to your advice. Have fun with them and it - point out all the good & useful things & explain what is not so good, without scaring them witless. Don't "forbid" social networking & make them wait until they are a teenager & then wonder why they do stupid things.

Silverlace Mon 11-Feb-13 16:23:39

I have set my laptop up with a user profile each for my DC and locked down everything with Norton.

I feel this is safe for them to use without me looking over their shoulder all the time but it is a pain when they are researching home work as it blocks so many sites.

I have had to have a chat with my DS as I found him in Club Penguin typing to another user "your igloo is rubbish". We had a chat about bullying and hurting others feelings. Since then he only uses areas where the chat is pre written.

We also have the laptop in the main sitting room, not hidden in an office.

kelzw84 Mon 11-Feb-13 19:51:00

My son only use's my laptop when i am around, I have spoken to him about the dangers of the internet and what you can find and things that can happen,
He has his own email address which he needs for his online games that i only allow him to access whilst i am sat next to him.
He mostly only use's the net to play his online games and to search for help with his homework, although all sites he needs user names and passwords for we have a different one and i have explained that this is because some people can manage to access his account if he was using the same ones x

AlexMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 12-Feb-13 15:01:05

Thanks everyone for your tips and comments. The prize draw has been made and the lucky winner is Blatherskite who wins a £250 Love2Shop voucher.

Blatherskite Tue 12-Feb-13 18:17:56

<faints>

Thank you so much!

MrsKwazii Tue 12-Feb-13 20:15:36

Yay Blathers!

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